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Best Kosher Deli in NYC

Hey everyone.

I'm gonna be in New York in a couple weeks and plan to gorge myself on all the kosher food. What I'm really looking for is a great deli with a good pastrami sandwich. Any recommendations are much appreciated!

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  1. Glatt kosher is to be found in the jewelry district (between 5th and 6th; 46th and 47th Streets) or on the lower east side (in and around Delancey Street). Kosher style is to be found at places like Carnegie Deli and other tourist destinations. Frankly, the pastrami and corned beef of my childhood is a thing of the past. -- too much fat for modern sensibilities. The stuff they slice now may be leaner, but it's not as delicious either. Come to think of it, gone too are the great kosher frankfurters and appetizing stores that used to be found in every Jewish neighborhood all over the city. (I was raised in the Bronx.) Yet, as much as I lament their passing, I recall the joke told by the great Buddy Hackett who remarked that he finally got rid of his heartburn when he was drafted into the Army and had to eat "regular" food. I can't eat that stuff anymore either.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Ambimom

      Sorry but that's a seriously incomplete review. It leaves out the very good non-glatt kosher places like Fine & Schapiro, Ben's and Second Avenue. Additionally, glatt Eli's is neither in the LES nor jewelry [sic] district, nor are the glatt Mr. Broadway, Mendy's or Kosher Delight.

      To the OP, if you don't require glatt, head to Second Avenue on, incongruously, 33rd and 3rd. If you require glatt your best bet is probably Mendy's on 34th and Park or Noah's Ark on the LES.

    2. In my opinion nothing beats 2nd Avenue Deli (no longer on 2nd Avenue). While kosher, they're open 24/7 so it's not up to some people's standards. I've been going there for years and, for me at least, it's the standard by which all others are judged. Best. Pastrami. Ever.

      1. For the strictly kosher consumer I like Noah's Ark on the lower east side (but kind of far from everything), Mr. Broadway (very centrally located), and the original Mendy's of 34th street. Too bad Essex downtown is closed, because that was the most authentic deli food kosher up to my standards.

        2 Replies
        1. re: UWSFoodie

          Noah 's Ark is very good. We order in from them on a regular basis.

          1. re: momrn

            Noah's will never be as good as Essex on Coney was. And none of them compares to any of the old time delis of years ago. Can't speak for the non-Glatt.

        2. Thanks everyone! Can't wait for this trip. I'm gonna gain 20 pounds in a week!

          1. We ate at Fine and Schapiro last year and I thought it was good but not great. Last night after Shabbat we got a delivery from them to our hotel (Beacon, 75th and Broadway) and it was really good, much better than I remember from last year. Either they have improved or quite possibly the food actually benefited from a few minutes wrapped in the foil paper they use for deliveries. Wife and I split brisket and pastrami sandwiches, I had a potato knish and she a baked potato.

            4 Replies
            1. re: ravchaz

              I have never thought much of Mendy's in the many visits I have made. I'll take Mr. Broadway over Mendy's every time.

              1. re: cappucino

                I definitely prefer Mendys to Mr Broadway. My non-kosher eating coworkers HATE Mr Broadway and LOVE Mendys. Recently, I went out to eat with a few coworkers. They asked me to choose the restaurant, since I needed a Kosher locale. I always feel a lot of pressure in this situation, because I am spending other people’s money and forcing them to eat certain foods (and NOT eat certain foods). So I try and choose a nice enough restaurant with modest enough prices to keep everyone happy on both counts. This time, I opted for Mendys. The Seinfeld angle (NOT the soup Nazi) gives this place a bit more stature than your typical no-name Kosher restaurant. In that honor, I ordered a soup and half-a-sandwich. I chose the chicken noodle soup (no matzah ball) and pastrami on rye. The soup wasn’t bad, but I wish I had requested no carrots. Why does everyone put so many carrots in chicken soup? I much prefer zucchini, parsnip and other veges. My pastrami sandwich was really good – the pastrami was soft and delicious. I also had a half sour pickle to finish off the meal. More thoughts at http://whatrebeccaateforlunchtoday.bl...

                1. re: rebeccaLunch

                  There's little doubt that Mendy's has a nicer presentation/atmosphere but the food at Mr. Broadway is superior, in my mind.

                  1. re: DeisCane

                    Mr Broadway delivers much faster than Mendy's

            2. Sarge's Deli on Third Ave, btw 36/37, Murray Hill; deli delish delicious; used to live in that block and whether breakfast, lunch, dinner or 3am, always always good.
              also Katz's and Stage delis are old school tasty, and Zabar's has great stuff

              2 Replies
              1. re: foodlvrzen

                don't know anything about Sarge's deli but Katz's, Stage and Zabar's are 100% NON-kosher delis.

                1. re: berel

                  Sarge's is apparently not kosher either (online reviews discuss their jumbo shrimp.)

              2. Unless you're a Sephardic Jew who requires it, stay away from glatt kosher deli. Doesn't hold a candle to the plain old kosher stuff.
                The worst stuff is the packaged corned beef and pastrami from Meal Mart that they sell at Costco. Yuch. Not even made with brisket cuts

                4 Replies
                1. re: veryfatman

                  Sephardic Jews require glatt? I thought "glatt" was a yiddish word.

                  1. re: Rmis32

                    "Bais Yosef" Glatt originated with Rav Yosef Karo, who was from Spain. Most Sephardic Jews require a glatt standard of kashrus.

                    1. re: Rmis32

                      fleishig and milchig are yiddish words too. they still apply to sefardim.

                      1. re: zsero

                        It is very difficult to find a strictly kosher shomer shabbat non glatt kosher deli in most areas these days for those that follow these criteria.